Artist Bedwyr Williams picks his top art and design events for the new year, from an interdisciplinary theatre production to a model railway show in Wales
Bedwyr Williams is one of the UK’s foremost contemporary artists , with a multidisciplinary approach encompassing sound, film, poetry, sculpture, installation and performance.
Born in St Asaph, Wales and now resident in Caernarfon, he represented Wales at the 2013 Venice Art Biennale, and is currently in contention for the prestigious Artes Mundi prize. His work draws on the banalities and idiosyncrasies of everyday life, casting a sometimes stark, often uncomfortable and frequently hilarious light on issues of social aspirations and failure.
He has a special fondness for the amateur enthusiast, from astronomers to model-railway buffs, and no great affection for the self-aggrandising, social-climbing aspects of the art world in which he finds himself.
1 ECHT, Bedwyr Williams part of the Institute of things to come
9 February – 26 March
Image Credit: Courtesy the artist and Limoncello, London
Echt was a film created for the Glasgow International Festival in 2014 and shown at Tramway. The film, set in the near future, is about a fast-track feudal system where hoarders rule the roost, auctioneers are the new town criers and planning officers are entombed in miniature bungalows.
2 Electricity: The Spark of Life
23 February – 2 July
Image Credit: Nikola Tesla, 1901. Courtesy Wellcome Library, London
I’m a Euston person when I come to London, and the Wellcome Collection across the road is one of my favourite places to visit. I think I like museums more than galleries. I like the themed exhibitions — they somehow bring out the child in me. I walk around and read all the texts. The Electricity exhibition looks like it will be a great thing… before I hop on Richard Branson’s groovy but stinky train to Holyhead.
Wellcome Collection, London
3 Model Railway Show
22 – 24 February
I’ve made work about model-railway enthusiasts in the past. I find it a fascinating hobby. The idea of scaling things down is always interesting but the thought of scaling-down power and traction is even more interesting. Britain has become snooty about its hobbyists; maybe in the middle of this vain, sourdough, tattoo ‘n’ beard phase we could change the points and couple up with some 00-gauge action.
National Slate Museum, Llanberis, Wales
4 Kate Owens: Original Condition
Until 28 March
During the duration of the exhibition Kate Owens will screen print on to bought objects, including silk scarves and ties. The 28 days of the show matches the 28 days Owens has to return the items back to their owners.
5 Amelie von Wulffen
10 February – 2 April
Writing about painting is mental and I wouldn’t know where to start, but I like Studio Voltaire and I like Amelie von Wulffen’s paintings. This is a new commission that includes paintings and a sculptural installation that will respond to the particular architecture of the gallery. It’s a nice space and it has a great programme.
Studio Voltaire, London
6 1857 in February
Premiere: 16 February
Image Credit: Jomfru Mathea, 2016. Drawing by Pernille Lindstad. Courtesy of 1857, Oslo
The interdisciplinary theatre production From Butter to Margarine is a two-act play which takes place at 1857 and Whitelight Theater F, at Grønland and Tøyen on the east side of Oslo. It investigates the historical context of the buildings that house 1857 and Whitelight Theater F with focus on the late-19th century, when poverty and prostitution were rife in the rapidly growing city of Kristiania (the former name of Oslo).